The topic

Brexit: exodus or status quo?

Uncertainty reigns as the clock is ticking for Great Britain’s divorce from the European Union. Jean-Baptiste Harguindéguy, professor of political science at the Pablo de Olavide University of Seville, answers our questions.

Interviewed on 07/03/19.


Given the complexity of implementing Brexit, will it ever actually happen?

Jean-Baptiste Harguindéguy: I remain somewhat sceptical about the reality of Brexit. Every day we are witnessing further twists and turns. In 2016, voting was the easy part. However, people were never told about the reality of the challenges involved in the split. The implementation process is turning out to be more complex than originally expected. This is going to prove costly for the United Kingdom. Wandering into the Brexit minefield has cast a spirit of doubt over the British people.


Can we expect to see European Union citizens leaving on mass?

Jean-Baptiste Harguindéguy: There appears to be three main strategies for continentals residing in Great Britain: either to remain in the United Kingdom by requesting British nationality, bearing in mind that we do not know whether compliance conditions will change in the future; or to leave Great Britain and head for one of the continent’s other major financial centres; or to set their sights on Ireland, particularly Dublin, adopting a “one foot in and one foot out” approach. Leaving aside those who have already gone, the majority are in a wait-and-see phase. They are lining up their contacts on the continent as a backup, choosing not to pre-emp potential political decisions with as yet unknown consequences.


Will the United Kingdom be closing its doors to graduates from the continent? Are there other areas that could compete with London’s unique appeal?

Jean-Baptiste Harguindéguy: What matters is knowing whether those drawn to Great Britain are hoping to develop a short, medium or long-term plan. Clearly, the administrative procedures involved will not be the same. Indeed, other countries may end up becoming more attractive for these overqualified graduates from mainland Europe. Those same countries will be attempting to recoup any human capital in the wake of Brexit: the Netherlands, Frankfurt and Brussels are trying to attract corporations to set up their head offices with them instead. Paris is doing quite well out of it too with its one-stop-shop system. As for Spain, the crisis in Catalonia coupled with multi-layered Spanish administration have tended to weaken its position in this competition.


Guy-Pierre Chomette, Editor


The topic

Consequences of Brexit

As Brexit draws near, this is casting a shadow of uncertainty over our Audencians based in London and for some of them this is tinged with a certain degree of bitterness, as is the case for Julien Planté who followed the the Grande Ecole programme back in 1998. For the past 19 years he has been living and working in London as a television and live events producer.

“There’s no getting away from Brexit. It is causing havoc and having a paralysing and disturbing effect. It’s regrettable that some British people seem to have forgotten their heritage and do not feel European. Had this not been the case, then this could have prevented us from going through the current situation,” he tells us.  

Julien says he feels aggrieved by what he sees going on around him. What’s more, he has made a personal commitment to help prevent the split from happening at all. In May 2017, Julien organised The Convention on Brexit & the Political Crash then joined campaigners pushing for a second referendum and organised The Convention: Another Vote is Possible in January 2019. In his view, the original campaign was indeed biased, tarnished by lies and rough approximations.

This same feeling of uncertainty is shared by Felipe Gonzalez (EIBM 09), a Franco-Colombian, who for the past four years has been working in London for the Société Générale in corporate and investment banking.

Labour market access for EU nationals will be more restrictive. From now on, European passport holders will need to apply for permanent resident status. The gap between nationals and non-nationals also stands to widen. The same risk will arise for families. Brexit will mean that a child born in the UK to non-British nationals will no longer be automatically eligible for British nationality and their resident status may even be revoked,” he claims.

Clouded by this shadow of uncertainty over the real conditions of leaving the EU, forecasts are coming in thick and fast, including those on the subject of pensions.

“I worked in France for six years as well as two in Spain and four in the UK. In theory, my pension contributions in France and Spain will comply but what about those paid in England?” Felipe questions.

A number of graduates have chosen not to get caught up in the prevailing atmosphere of dejection, like Azzedine Alkhalfioui (GE 11), who works for Barclays Bank.

“London is a gateway to the world. The city will remain Europe’s best bet when it comes to finance. It’s clear to see: no other European capital can compete in terms of the advantages it offers to banks and financial executives.”

London also seems to be holding onto its position as the capital of Europe’s tech scene. Facebook, Google and Apple have set up there with no signs of moving away.  

“London has set its sights on becoming Europe’s new Silicon Valley and the government is taking things in this direction. Make no mistake, there’s a promising future in store for our recent graduates heading for London. So, go for it !” Azzedine concludes.


Géraldine Lance, Editor


The topic

The impact of Brexit on European university funding

On 23 June 2016, some 51.9% of British voters expressed their desire to leave the European Union. So, what does Brexit mean for European university finances? This was the question put to Robert Bowen (IMM 12).

“We live in uncertain times,” explains 35-year-old Bowen, lecturer at Swansea University in Wales since September 2017. He also holds the position of visiting lecturer at Audencia on the IMM programme, teaching Marketing in the Digital Age. In his view, the vote to leave the EU may harm the long-term sustainability of European finances which are currently awarded to British universities.

Less funding would mean fewer research programmes and a reduction in teaching-research posts,” he outlines. No longer being able to access European research funding also stands to undermine the partnerships formed between European universities”. According to Bowen, this is already the case.

“The current situation provides little incentive for European researchers and professors to establish projects with their British counterparts,” he says, who are now forced to look to new sources for future funding. “The British government has said they will compensate for this fall in credit research but there are no guarantees.” It is therefore hard to make any long-term plans.

This loss of funding may also cause British universities to forego any construction projects they may have been planning. “The new campus at Swansea University was built just three years ago. Its construction was subsidised by the European Union to the tune of 450 million pounds. This project would never have seen the light of day had it not been for this grant,” he explains.


An impact on cultural diversity

This does not only pose an economic threat. The mobility of students and faculty members across Europe may also be affected by Brexit, namely with regard to the Erasmus programme. “A number of my colleagues are heading for Europe this year. This might well be their last opportunity,” Bowen ponders, regretting the fact he hadn’t applied for one himself. In his view, Brexit may also affect the wealth of cultural diversity. There is also the issue of what it has done to the UK’s now somewhat “tarnished” image. That said, he has no plans on leaving his homeland.


Florence Falvy, Editor


The topic

No call for panic!

Sylvie Froger (GE 97), is at the helm of Simply London, her very own relocation agency. She refutes the rhetoric of panic surrounding Brexit, stressing that London stands to remain one of the main hubs of the European economy.


Could you talk us through your career path and tell us what it is about London that appeals so much to you?

Sylvie Froger: As a marketing executive for a large industrial group in Switzerland, in 2004 I was offered a secondment to London and never left! London is both cosmopolitan and international, a very inclusive place to be where culture is omnipresent, a city with so much to offer. Add to this the British stiff upper lip then you have the unique blend of ingredients that went towards turning me into a fully-fledged Londoner. I set up Simply London in 2012. There are four employees. In the beginning, our customer base was mostly French speaking but now it is international.


Since 2016 and the British vote in favour of Brexit, has this affected your line of business?

Sylvie Froger: During the year of the actual vote, the industry suffered a great deal because business seemed to dry up. In the relocation market for French citizens in London, some have never managed to get back on their feet. Others have moved more towards relocation services targeting… Paris. Simply London took a hit but we managed to pull through. Once we got through this period, things got back to normal. This may surprise you but I would even go as far to say that nothing much has changed since Brexit! Of course, Europeans are hesitant when it comes to setting up in London, unsure about the outlook for immigration protocol. However, this is not the case for the rest of the world for which London remains a very appealing place, one of the main hubs where Brexit is just one of the factors, among others, to be taken into account.


So, what is the outlook for the weeks and months to come? 

Sylvie Froger: It is important to distinguish between the financial sector and other sectors. Due to the loss of the financial passport, certain trading groups will no longer be able to work out of London. For the remainder, particularly for technology, London remains in pole position. Besides, a fall in the value of the pound is not viewed as a bad thing by some companies wishing to export from here! Truth be told, no one really knows what is going to happen. Here at Simply London, our mantra is: “Don’t panic!” Europeans will always be welcome in this country which needs them to make a living. Clearly, they should make their rights of residency official by introducing a fast and easy procedure, however Great Britain will certainly not be closing its doors and is even less likely to deprive itself of the continentals living here. We remain confident.


Guy-Pierre Chomette, Editor


Campus life

Over 1,800 in attendance at the last graduation ceremony

This has come to be a defining moment in any academic course. In early February, 816 recipients were honoured at the graduation ceremony.  For the first time ever, this joint event brought together students from Audencia’s specialised, international and executive education programmes.   

Congratulations to our 816 new alumni! They all came along to join in the excitement at Audencia’s graduation ceremony held on Saturday 2 February, 2019 at the Zenith concert hall in Nantes.

What’s more, for the first time ever, “several different programmes were brought together under one roof,” causing it to be an unprecedented event which Dan Evans, Director of Programmes, is proud to have helped spearhead. Bachelor & BBA, Audencia SciencesCom, International Master, Specialised Master and Full-time & Executive MBA. All the graduands proudly walked across the main stage. A time to don their “badge of allegiance” as well as showcase all the “diversity” that exists within “the great Audencia family.”

“Recognition for all that hard work”

This graduation ceremony was marked by several stand-out moments. To begin with, the Nantes Grande Ecole Choir & Orchestra which got the celebrations off with a bang. Following this, the professors and programme directors took it in turns to take to the stage as they delivered their speeches aimed at honouring the graduates of the moment, particularly when it came to handing out the prizes: 7 students won the Prize for Best Dissertation, 11 won the Best Graduating Student Award, 6 were awarded the Daring Prize and prizes were also awarded to 16 class-year ambassadors. Featuring amongst them was Isabelle Mauriquot, a graduate of the Specialised Master SMED (Marketing Strategy in the Digital Age).

“Really well organised with great momentum… singing, dancing, delighted graduates, proud relatives and friends, a delicious buffet, what a fabulous afternoon!” she beams.

“I found it very moving and rewarding: it is recognition for all that hard work,” so proud to be graduating from a school which champions “diversity to such an extent, from its courses to the students, nationalities and speakers etc.”

The cocktail party was another of the event’s high points. During the evening, the 816 graduates, as well as the 1,000 guests, were invited onto the stage to wind up the event. And how could we forget the students who took part in the mortarboard throwing tradition!


See you back here in 2020

The next graduation ceremony is now set for 2020. Please note that this time the Grande Ecole programme will be joining in the festivities! This will provide a great opportunity to further expand Audencia’s circle of diversity.


Florence Falvy, Editor


Campus life

Oral entrance exams: welcome, Grads!

For the Grande Ecole programme, the Bachelor programme and SciencesCom, the season of competitive entrance exams is now underway. This is a golden opportunity for alumni to get to know the next generation of graduates.

Oral entrance examinations, qualifying successful applicants to enrol on one of Audencia’s programmes, represent a key time in the school calendar to attract and enhance its reach to those outside the institution. Juries are made up of a member of faculty and a corporate representative bringing along insider knowledge of the business world. Why not give it a go?

We are counting on alumni members to live out the values dear to Audencia by becoming part of the admissions juries,” explains Nicolas Arnaud, Director of the Grande Ecole programme. “Taking part in these orals, is a great way to understand the expectations of new upcoming generations.”

For the Grande Ecole programme alone, from 3 to 12 June, Audencia will be welcoming nearly 3,500 applicants for the competitive, qualification-based entrance examination for entry onto the master in management programme. Then from 18 June to 9 July there will be the competitive entrance exams for students following Classes Préparatoires (classes preparing students for entry to the French elite Grandes Ecoles) also taking place on campus. Please note that the school is also looking for alumni to assess the oral proficiency of final year students with assessments taking place from 15 to 28 May and on 26 and 27 August.

For his part, Guy Gascoin, Director of the Bachelor programme, stresses just how important the selection process is.

“For a school to remain successful, it needs to have great courses, good teaching staff, great team leadership and good students. The best way of attracting good students is by calling on those with prior experience of studying at the school to assess the applicants during the entrance exams orals. Graduates from any class year will naturally be familiar with the school ethos and the DNA of the curriculum.”

Nearly 700 candidates will be sitting the orals as they seek to join the bachelor’s degree programme, as well as third year candidates admitted on their academic record and those entitled to complete a fourth year of study. Some of the jury meetings are scheduled to be held in Nantes on 3 April, 6 April and 5 June and subsequently in Paris on 10 and 13 April.

Finally, this year the SciencesCom competitive entrance exams will be held on 4 to 6 April and from 6 to 8 June.


Guy-Pierre Chomette, Editor


Campus life

Audencia taking the world by storm with new partnerships in Africa and a trip to China

Audencia’s international scope has long been seen as one of its major strengths.

Over the years, it is fair to say that the school has managed to widen its reach beyond the French borders, welcoming an ever-increasing number of student intakes and successfully forming international partnerships. Among the latest to date are those recently formed in both West and East Africa.


Heading out to Africa

In March, two unprecedented education and research agreements were signed by Audencia in Africa. One was with the University of Ghana and the other with the United States International University Africa in Kenya.

What’s more, in Kenya, the signing took place within the framework of Emmanuel Macron’s official visit to Nairobi on 13 and 14 March, 2019.

These partnerships will pave the way for Audencia to enhance cooperation in terms of research and will also facilitate exchanges between universities. However, this is not all!  Joint programmes will also be established between the institutions and a double diploma will be created, enabling Ghanaian undergraduates to earn Audencia’s Master of Science in Food and Agribusiness Management.

These alliances with Africa also represent a major milestone when it comes to developing the Collaborative Institute for Global Agribusiness, launched by Audencia in 2018 alongside three other founding members: the Brazilian Agribusiness Association, the ESPAE Graduate School of Management in Ecuador and the consulting corporation TCAI Tejon Communication & Action International Ltda in Brazil.


Discovering China

From 16 to 23 March, first-year students following the preparatory classes in management flew out to China. This trip enabled them to gain first-hand experience of the Chinese culture and business world, meet up with French students and discover Hong Kong and its buildings. This tour, spanning several days, provided them with the opportunity to visit the campus at Shenzhen Audencia Business School (SABS). This was an essential stop in light of the fact that Shenzhen has been declared a special economic zone (SEZ) and is now likened to Silicon Valley.

Finally, the students also got to take part in two of the Chinese legs of the “Around the World” event: Audencia Alumni across the globe. The purpose of this event was to meet up with alumni across the world in just eight days.

These voyages of discovery in all four corners of the world, coupled with these international partnerships, are enabling Audencia’s network to keep growing as it continues to prove nothing short of inspirational.


Géraldine Lance, Editor


Network talk

Audencia Around the World event proves a great success!

Around the world in eight days, the whistle-stop tour to present our international alumni communities, featuring a whopping 31 events, spanning 25 countries in 5 continents. For this first edition, which took place from 15 to 22 March 2019, Audencia Around the World went all out!

In taking on this round-the-world trip in eight days, the Audencia Around the World event has certainly delivered: managing to bring together alumni communities operating right across the globe, from Dublin to Singapore, Mexico to Beijing, and from Sydney (picture above) to London. 

The starting pistol was fired in Chengdu, China, on 15 March, with the inauguration of a new community there. Following this, there were an additional 30 other events.


Such a great show of support 

First observation: a great turn out by alumni members! Indeed, over 450 attendees helped bring the event to life over the eight-day period. Some of these were held in the most unexpected places, as was the case in Seoul, Nairobi or Copenhagen, where many graduates got behind the gatherings, despite their limited presence in these areas.

Audencia Around the World could also count on our loyal ambassadors, like Habiba Laraki (IMM 09). Former ambassador in Casablanca, she is now based in Copenhagen which is where he ran the event. Then there is Siddharth Akolkar (IMM 10), one of our ambassadors from India, who has moved to Toronto where he also took part in the event, together with Hélène Niyonzima (GE 14), hereby bringing together graduates who hadn’t previously had the chance to meet.


Daring greatly 

Activities included a live webinar from Tokyo, a yoga evening with digital detox in New York, sessions cleaning up the beaches in Sydney and San Francisco, and more besides. Audencia Around the World was also marked by some “daring” events. Moreover, the theme of daring was brought to the fore during an afterwork held in London with two of its guest speakers, Alicia Bulbeck (GE 17), who set up her own zero-waste supermarket and Julien Planté, now a cinema and events producer. Over 9,000 kilometres away, daring was also being brought to the fore in Hong Kong with no fewer than 70 participants from various backgrounds (alumni, student interns and Executive MBA holders) also sharing their own take on daring. All this great momentum proved very positive indeed.


Paying tribute to “John”
Audencia Around the World bears testimony to the fact that this great Audencia family of ours remains mobilised across the miles. Therefore, we couldn’t put this event on without paying tribute to Jean-Laurent Barthere, known as “John”, who sadly passed away last December. Based in Hong-Kong, his dedicated involvement remains ever present across the network. 


Florence Falvy, Editor


Network talk

Audencia Alumni Association: moves to streamline operations

On the occasion of the General Assembly, held on 13 March 2019, the Audencia Alumni association was granted new status with the aim of gaining in agility and facilitating its governance.

The century-old Audencia Alumni association, is a key player helping to mobilise Audencia graduates within its vibrant and friendly network. In 2012, the association and the school brought their activities together so as to boost and optimise shared resources which are dedicated to developing the network. Transferring the association’s operational resources to the school has allowed the alumni department to see its workforce strengthened from four to eight members of staff. The membership fee – a one-time payment made when students enter Audencia – has made it possible to quadruple the annual budget, with a simpler, more efficient system for collecting funds. This has provided the network with the financial stability required to ensure its long-term development.

Since 2012, there has been operational parity between the alumni association and Audencia in determining how to develop the network. The association’s missions focus on budget allocation, the drawing up of strategic plans and the mobilisation of graduates. The implementation of the yearly action plan is taken care of by the alumni department.

All this has led to careful consideration on establishing the best possible way of running the association and changing its status, as well as considering the changing patterns of voluntary involvement over recent years, with alumni members keener to become involved in initiating projects as opposed to joining governing bodies. In addition, alumni expect to see more proactivity and agility with activities offered on a more local level.

The joint governance of the association –Committee and Supervisory Board– is now making way for a single body, the Board of Administration, consisting of up to 12 members and featuring at least one student representative. To reflect the diversity of our Audencia graduates, the plan is to incorporate alumni from a range of programmes onto the Board of Administration.

The motion for the amendment of the statutes was adopted by unanimous vote, during a secret ballot and the new Board of Administration was elected. Alongside Flavie Lorre (GE 98 - President), Anne-Sophie Ferry (GE 10), Ataf Nabli (GE 01), Jérôme Cador (GE 10), Ulysse Silva (GE 20) and Christian Hily (GE 99), who have been reappointed, they are joined by François Macé (GE 79), Jérôme Pasquet (MBA 06), Tristan Pelloux (GE 15) and Laure Bernuau-Diakov (ExecMBA 18) new to the board.

This development has put us on the right track and will enable us to take projects onto the next level as we serve the network and gain agility. Furthermore, we would like to take this opportunity to appeal to all those out there wishing to join us in helping Audencia Alumni continue to thrive and grow.” Flavie Lorre concludes.

Access the General Assembly presentation (containing the operational report and plans for 2019).


Guy-Pierre Chomette, Editor


Network talk

Events run by Audencia Alumni for Audencia Alumni

A look back at three of our latest stand-out events causing a buzz at Audencia and among alumni since last February.   


Audencia alumni and professors dine together in Cape Town

On the occasion of her South African visit, Jennifer Goodman, professor at Audencia, stopped off in Cape Town to meet up with alumni. This gathering was held on 27 February and was hosted at a very special venue… chez Pierre Lambret, graduate (GE 03). He is now the proprietor of Plant, a vegan restaurant in the heart of the Cape’s central district. This eatery has been on the gourmet map for a year and a half now and offers up a host of out-of-this-world culinary delights.


A women-only discussion evening

“Careers: Do young women make real choices?” This was the theme of the discussion evening, held on 13 March, at the CCO in Nantes. It provided the opportunity to get a first-hand glimpse of the results of a recent study, commissioned by Audencia and the Business au Féminin Network (Women in Business Network), to grasp the mechanisms behind early career choices. On the programme: a women-only evening with Christine Naschberger, Audencia HR Professor, Catherine Chassanite, Career Consultant at Audencia, Gwenaëlle Valenta, Head of HR at KPMG in the West of France, Hélène Leroy (GE 14), public sector Consultant – Water and Aquatic Habitats Division (Espelia), as well as Anaïs Hijos (GE 18) and Elia Guiheux, alumna from Centrale Nantes.


Le Cercle des Dirigeants, the club bringing together leaders in western France, held its traditional gathering

This was another event not to be missed: a conference on “Money: value, a means, goal or taboo subject?” It was held on 21 March and hosted by the Cercle des Dirigeants alongside two of their ambassadors Sébastien Rouzaire (GE 91), founding chairman of Kerius Finance, and Philippe Serzec (GE 92), associate with Deloitte Transaction Services. This initiative aims to bring together graduates with over 15 years’ experience, holding a leadership or managerial position within their company. During the evening, in response to the issue under discussion, Yann Boissière, rabbi for the LJMF (Liberal Jewish Movement of France) and president of the association Les Voix de la Paix (the Voices of Peace), as well as keynote speaker at numerous seminars and business think tanks, decoded the messages found in philosophical and theological texts, taken from a range of religions, from Aristotle to the present day. Accompanying him was François Mollat du Jourdin (GE 85), founder of MJ&Cie, the first independent multi-family office in France, who shared his experience of supporting people via Philanthropie & Mécénat (Sponsorship & Philanthropy). Finally, sticklers for abiding by the rules, attendees rounded off the conference with a customary cocktail. It provided a great way for Audencia alumni to grow the network.


Florence Falvy, Editor


Around the world

Discovering Our European Neighbours

Spurred on by his desire for a change of scene, with a longing to leave behind the hustle and bustle of Parisian life, Julien Bavencoffe (GE 11) decided to hit the road for a seven-month tour around Europe in a campervan.

After seven years spent living in Paris, Julien was ready for a calmer, more serein pace of life but he also wanted a much-needed taste of freedom. In October 2017, the idea of a road trip came to him. Before his thirtieth birthday, Julien was keen on ticking off his wish list visits to all of the countries in Europe.

Fast-forward seven months and he’d already purchased the campervan so, along with his friend Jane, they hit the road. On the programme:  discovering or re-visiting various countries, but above all getting to know our neighbours. This itinerant journey was to span 23,000 kilometres, heading out across Ireland, Scotland and England, as well as Scandinavia, Denmark, Germany, the Baltic states, Poland, Hungary and the Slovak Republic, then onto Romania, Bulgaria, Greece, Macedonia, Kosovo, Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia, Montenegro and Albania before finally rounding off their trip in Italy.

The campervan lifestyle is immensely liberating.  We would pitch up wherever took our fancy, staying for however long we pleased.”

Julien has taken away many unforgettable memories from this trip. In particular, mental snapshots of the landscapes in Norway and Scotland, as well as those of his thirtieth birthday celebrations in Croatia. This proved to be a charming nod to his time spent in Zagreb during his exchange term, a place he hadn’t returned to since. In short, Julien was very moved by the kind-heartedness of the Albanians and the Romanians; their warm welcome will stay with him forever.

These countries are not typical tourist destinations but we were welcomed there with open arms. The people were interested in us and our project. The Albanians and Romanians are very pleasant folk, they are so friendly and delighted to stop and chat.”

It wasn’t easy coming back to a more sedentary lifestyle

This road trip has changed us, it has coloured how we see things now.  Being comfortable is no more the be all and end all. We take the time to go about things, making every moment count. From now on, we are supporters of slow tourism, for instance it’s put me off travelling be plane. When I got back to my flat in Paris, which by the way is a great deal bigger than the campervan, I felt hemmed in, like a prisoner, with a lack of freedom and enough space to move around.” 

This trip has provided Julien with a sense of meaning and he would now like to carry this forward into his professional life.

I hope to work in the Social and Solidarity Economy (SSE), either by joining an organisation which works in this sector, or by setting up a project of my own.” 

What’s more, since change rarely happens in isolation, and as Julien and Jane also felt the time was right to go back to their roots, at the beginning of April they will be setting up home in the “Cité des Ducs” district of Nantes.

We wish them both every success and many more wonderful adventures to come!



Amandine Luce, on behalf of the Audencia Alumni Team


Around the world

Learning trips providing global immersion experiences

Taking place in London, Haute-Savoie, Istanbul, Glasgow and the list goes on. Learning Trips season runs from January through to March, opening up a voyage of discovery for students as they work together to get a feeling for other business cultures.

“Enabling students to pitch themselves against businesses, both in France and abroad, while meeting professionals from within their specialised field,” such is the ethos behind these Learning Trips* launched by Audencia a year ago now, explains Marika Garrel, Specialised Masters Course Director (MS).

As of September 2019, these immersion trips abroad, which run from the end of January to mid-March with an average duration extending four days and three nights, will become “an integral part of the pedagogical model common to all our specialised master’s programmes”, namely the six current ones (SMED, MCI, MOS, MDC, MASC and FRC), to which two new programmes will be added at the beginning of the new academic year: APTE and MFM.


An extensive network

Another new development is also in the pipeline: during the same period students following the MASC and APTE programmes will also be heading abroad. Hamburg, wind power capital of the world, is amongst the prime destinations. 

The goal? “To create a sense of belonging and community amongst participants on the various specialised master’s programmes as well as enabling those with different profiles to connect.” 

Clearly, this is what Learning Trips are all about: fostering cross-links. For instance, this year, a bachelor’s graduate (degree holder) in London played host to students on the specialised master (6 years’ post ‘A’ level studies), the MCI were hosted by a MOS, an IMM graduate hosted the MDC and arranged an afterwork gathering in Istanbul and so forth.


A true sense of building together

Learning Trips also provide students with the opportunity to be in the driving seat when it comes to their own immersion experience “right from the get-go with their choice of destination.” With a commitment to building together alongside the head of each programme, a team of three to five students put themselves forward to be in charge of organising their trip both in the lead up to and for the duration of their stay, bearing in mind that two to three company visits are also scheduled. For instance, students who went to Istanbul on the specialised master in MDC worked in pairs. Each duo had a subject matter (for example trade, security or architecture). In the morning, there was a joint visit and the afternoon was their opportunity to get to know the town. This was followed by a writing up of notes ready for delivery. Thus, providing enough material on their “shared experiences and feedback.”  

*Expenses related to travel and accommodation are covered on the programme.


Florence Falvy, Editor


Patronage & support

The Audencia Foundation stepping up a gear

Operating under the auspices of the Fondation de France (“Foundation of France”), the Audencia Foundation is pursuing its mission to support the school. In 2019, it plans to step up its scholarships programme.

The Audencia Foundation was created a decade ago, spearheaded by its three founders – L’Oréal, the CIC Ouest and Noble Age (now LNA) – with the aim of assisting Audencia carry out strategic projects in the field of research, curricular innovation, and social and cultural openness. It supports the school in enhancing both its national scope, in France, as well as extending its international reach.

At the last executive board meeting held in January, the administrators of the foundation (corporates, alumni, professors and the Director General of Audencia) congratulated the board on reaching their target of raising a total €1,250,000 through donations in 2018.

“Launched back in 2016 the fundraising scheme, which calls on graduates to make donations, is gaining momentum,” says Françoise Marcus, Chief Delegate of the Audencia Foundation.

“In 2018 we had a total of 420 private contributors compared to 183 in 2017. Above and beyond the sums collected, we are gradually seeing a culture of giving take root and that is exactly what we are aiming for.”

In 2018, we also witnessed the setting up of two new Chairs, one to fund innovation, the second on territorial intelligence, and also the funding of a learning expedition to the CES in Las Vegas by the founding members of the CADO club, the Club Audencia des Dirigeants de l’Ouest, which brings together business leaders in the west of France.

For 2019, the fund’s target has been set at €1,100,000. Regarding its scope of action, apart from the traditional funding of research projects, curricular innovation and grants for the expansion of social and cultural openness, the foundation wishes to think big and set up a much more aspirational scholarships programme, with a focus on the hybridisation of skills. The purpose here is to help stimulate responsible, value-generating innovation. Naturally, this programme is turned towards social philanthropy, particularly in support of those who are not eligible for state funding but who are nevertheless facing financial hardship.

The school needs to continually strive to strengthen the role it plays as a force for change regarding social mobility,” stresses Françoise Marcus.

The total amount awarded for living allowances and school fees stands to reach a figure of €300,000 in 2019

The foundation is also focussing on another major project for 2019: helping Audencia remain at the cutting edge by means of its forward-thinking approach to skills and the training of tomorrow’s leaders by creating a specific mechanism.

“This is an essential part of the school’s unique brand that we need to hold onto,” adds the Chief Delegate of the Audencia Foundation.

2018 Annual Report


Guy-Pierre Chomette, Editor


Innovation hub

The Alliance Days: Teaming up shared expertise for innovation

Have you heard about the Alliance Days, the annual event aimed at boosting cross-disciplinary skills? 

The event is open to all first-year students from the three schools, as part of the Centrale – Audencia – ENSA Nantes Alliance.

The three schools have a shared belief that innovative and value-generating projects emerge when knowledge and expertise meet and merge.  Therefore, over many years, they have been building gateways to facilitate training, entrepreneurship, research, and innovation to boost the hybridization of skills and train up multi-skilled professionals for the job market. There are two flagship offerings: the double diplomas – of engineering & management in particular – and workshops including CityLab or Mobiance.

With its educational teams from the three schools working in collaboration to design the Alliance Days, held on 12 and 13 March, this event truly embodies the spirit of the Alliance. This two-day event aims to enable around a thousand students on the first year Grande Ecole programme at Audencia and Centrale, as well as third year students from ENSA Nantes, to discover the wealth of training pathways and the fruitful exchange of skills to be enjoyed by students.

The programme features 24 workshops in fashion-design-thinking with topics ranging from “Become a sports reporter” to designing a sensory tramway, making a children’s book or using lighting to stage city nightscapes. And, on the subject of creativity, how can we fail to mention the urban henhouse or the “MurMur” app which tells the story behind the walls of our buildings and houses, whether modern or old, from their design to their construction, which is prototyped by students during these workshops.

Two days spent learning how to work in cross-disciplinary teams as you research solutions to solve complex problems, providing a foretaste of those all-too-familiar situations which countless graduates encounter throughout their working life.

To see the photos and relive these two days maxing out on creativity: Photo gallery


Florence Alix-Gravellier, on behalf of the Audencia Alumni Team


Business corner

Why you should share your story with students, uncovering why with Delphine François Chiavarini (GE 97)

From 21 to 24 January this year, Audencia hosted its first Career Connections Week, co-produced by management teams from Audencia’s Corporate & Alumni Relations Department associated with Communications and the Grande Ecole: an all-new format providing the ideal setting for undergraduates on the Grande Ecole programme, company representatives and alumni to mingle, interact with each other and make professional contacts. 

Featuring among our corporate representatives, Audencia had the honour of welcoming Delphine François Chiavarini (GE 97), Vice-President of the Moen Incorporated group. Today, she is a French expat living and working in Cleveland in the USA, one of our 3,400 Audencia alumni now based abroad. She hadn’t returned to the school since her graduation but had a keen interest in becoming part of our Career Connections Week. 

So, in late January, Delphine François Chiavarini spoke during the roundtable meeting held in English on “First job: How to start your career on the right foot!”. It should be pointed out that Delphine’s track-record in this field is awe-inspiring: after an early career working in France, she went on to spend the next six years in Switzerland before spreading her wings to work in the United States, where she has been since 2014.

This accomplished businesswoman, leading her company on the global stage, certainly made quite an impact on our students!


Delphine, why choose to share your story with our students? What did this moment mean to you?

“Well, I hadn’t been back to Audencia in 22 years! I think what drew me back to the school was a certain degree of curiosity but more the desire to share my knowledge, bring my own personal take and talk about my own experience.  I wanted to interact with the students who must be asking themselves a great deal of questions!”

Graduates returning to Audencia do so in order to shine a light on what the business world is really like and help build career paths, but also to reconnect with their school and those involved in it. They also want to get to know the upcoming generations who may well go on to become their future employees!

So, dear Alumni, why not give it a go yourself?


Lauranne Heaume, on behalf of the Communciations Team



New appointments

Some fellow Audencians have changed post in recent months:

  • Quentin Bassi (GE 07) has been appointed Head of Operations Europe, at BAM Karaoke Box
  • Adrien Beuriot (GE 04) has been appointed Head of Continental Europe Asset Management, at Aviva Investors
  • Pierre Castelain (GE 09) has been appointed Manager - Solution Consulting – Pre-sales - Southern Europe, at Anaplan
  • Jean-Arnold Coutareau (GE 94) has been appointed Partner (Financial Services) - Capital Markets and Accounting Advisory Services, at PricewaterhouseCoopers
  • Olivier Eglem (GE 10) has been appointed Head of Residential Acquisitions, at Scaprim
  • Didier Gaffinel (GE 87) has been appointed Head of Global Coverage and Investment Banking, at Crédit Agricole CIB
  • Florian Galizia (GE 16) has been appointed Associate, at Capital Mind
  • Pierre Gauthier (EMP-MBA 06) has been appointed Director of International Development, at Dr Banner
  • Marie Nedorezoff (GE 97) has been appointed Managing Director, at Midi2i
  • Léopold Salasc (GE 04) has been appointed Corporate Business Centre Director, at LCL Marseille Provence SME
  • Guillaume Ten Have (GE 13) has been appointed Director, at Capital Mind


Congratulations to each and every one of them on these distinguished appointments!

If you too would like to tell us about your own recent appointment or new start-up, then please drop us a line here at


Emilie Tendron, on behalf of the Audencia Alumni Team